Police Discretion and Racial Disparity in Organized Retail Theft Arrests: Evidence from Texas

  title={Police Discretion and Racial Disparity in Organized Retail Theft Arrests: Evidence from Texas},
  author={Michael Braun and J Rosenthal and Kyle Therrian},
  journal={PSN: Politics of Race (Topic)},
When definitions of two distinct criminal offenses overlap, power to decide which definition to apply to an arrest devolves to local law enforcement agencies. This discretion can lead to unequal treatment and denial of due process, especially when disadvantaged populations are arrested for nonviolent property crimes. We present a Bayesian analysis of arrests under a vaguely worded statutory scheme for retail theft in Texas, in which a shoplifter who is guilty of property theft is also guilty of… 

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